Mike Baur has turned from banking advisor and manager to pursuing a new investment in Swiss startup companies and providing aspiring entrepreneurs funding to get it all going. Baur had become tired of the grind and doing the same routine in banking, and also saw signs that the economic landscape was drastically changing as technology companies were becoming successful across the world. So he assembled a team of investors and other clients he had met during his time in banking and founded the Swiss Startup Factory (SSUF) to become an incubator for technology and other startups in Switzerland.
Mike Baur often travels to business schools and corporate events to give lectures on making startups successful, and he once shared with Red Bulletin five main points that startups should follow. The first is that entrepreneurs should trust their own ideas and never be afraid to share them with others. The second is never to be afraid of failure because at some point it will lead to success if you stick with your ideas. Thirdly, he said you have to ignore those who don’t believe you can succeed because there will always be naysayers. Fourth, Baur said you must be willing to work as hard as you can with your startup, and his final point was to be willing to break a rule or norm that has long governed the industry.
Mike Baur has certainly put his principles to work at the SSUF and has served as an advisor to Think Reloaded AG. The SSUF is all about putting startups to work in a fast-paced environment and also including physical and mental challenges to the chosen participants in a 3-month program. By the end of this program, the finalists are given office space and business equipment to start turning their ideas into fluid businesses. What Baur is currently doing is very different from what he was doing in his early professional career.
Nearly 20 years ago, Baur was an apprentice who was told by a manager at UBS Bank that he would be promoted at different timelines in his banking career, and eventually retire at a certain age. Baur did receive several promotions and also completed several university programs at the University of Bern and later Rochester University. He spent several years as a manager at UBS Bank, later moved to Clariden Leu, and then Credit Suisse before changing his career. One year after founding the SSUF, he opened the Innovation Lab Fribourg.